Gov. Tony Evers today took action on three bills, including Assembly Bill (AB) 890, Senate Bill (SB) 971, and SB 780.

Badger Fund of Funds 

Gov. Evers today signed AB 890, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 98, which makes several modifications to the current Badger Fund of Funds investment program at the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA).

We’re continuing our efforts to support Wisconsin’s start-up ecosystem and entrepreneurs, which is critically important for our work to build an economy that can meet the needs of the 21st Century,” said Gov. Evers. “Today, I am proud to sign this bill that will bolster the ingenuity and homegrown talent we already have right here in WisconsinThanks to these funds, we’re sending a message that, here in Wisconsin, if you have a great business idea and the willingness to work hard to make it happen, our administration is here to support you. 

The Badger Fund of Funds has developed important relationships with venture capital funds, emerging businesses, and other entities. The 2023-25 biennial budget signed by Gov. Evers appropriated $25 million for an additional round of the program. The 2023-25 budget, as passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature, would have required the fund of funds program to repay the additional $25 million provided to the fund of funds program and, thereafter, to pay 90 percent of gross investment returns for deposit in the general fund. Gov. Evers vetoed these requirements through partial vetoes citing concern that these provisions “may undermine efforts to attract additional co-investors in the fund of funds program,” allowing those additional funds to be reinvested. The governor’s veto message is available here.

In both the governor’s 2021-23 and 2023-25 biennial budgets, the governor proposed removing the requirement that the current Badger Fund of Funds program repay its initial investment to the state. Unfortunately, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) removed this provision in the final 2021-23 and 2023-25 budgets.

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